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People suck

I’ve been reading the story of Adalia Rose, a six year old girl with progeria. It makes me sick. Not Adalia, of course, but the fact that when she had fun posting videos on youtube and facebook, the trolls descended.

Sometime in June, Carl Ludwig Sherburne noticed a new "bandwagon," his term for the Internet’s ephemeral obsessions, cluttering his Facebook timeline. The notoriously disruptive 4chan board /b/ had seized upon some evidently sick girl’s Facebook page, and with the Miami Cannibal Zombie meme dying down, the rage among his online peers had shifted to PhotoShopping this child’s veiny, hairless head onto the bodies of famous monsters and extraterrestrials. People pasted her face on E.T., Roger from American Dad, Teletubbies, Land of the Lost Sleestaks, Gollum, Mini Me. There were so many different juxtapositions of this Progeria Girl, as Sherburne would come to call her, that he would start collecting them, like virtual trading cards, and eventually amass more than 500.

After Adalia’s passing, he said, the only online trace of her existence would be these cruel images. “You know whose fault it’s gonna be? It’s not gonna be the millions of people on the Internet who looked at them. It’s gonna be yours for letting these pictures escape,” he stammered, as if Adalia’s baby photos were leaked documents. “You are a sick woman. You are more disgusting and horrible than my fat disgusting ass could ever be.” He was nearly spitting. “You are one stupid bitch.”

Sound familiar? Screaming nitwits howling at a sick little girl and her mother, and then blaming the mother for letting Adalia use the internet. They’re bullies, they can’t help themselves, put something to mock in front of them and it’s their target’s fault that they have to bully them.

I’m sorry, Carl Ludwig Sherburne, but you’re wrong. You’re among the most disgusting and horrible things on the internet, and a woman posting her baby photos doesn’t even come close.

Comments

  1. glodson says

    What a fucking asshole.

    You are right, he’s easily among the most disgusting things on the internet. I don’t know what he looks like and I don’t really give a shit. His actions and rationalizations make me believe he’s got a void of humanity in his lizard brain.

    Fuck everyone who thinks this is acceptable. Goddamnit, I am sick of seeing stupid assholes say “it is your fault I did this.”

    I hope this story catches on. Not because I want to heap humiliation on the guy for what he said. No, I actually have a better reason, but really I know that it is based in stupid optimism. I hope people start talking about bullying on the internet. About how it is done, and the effect it has, in a more serious manner. I hope that the jackasses who make these comments, that create these stupid and hurtful images, that make these disgusting rationalizations are called out more by their peers. I hope this will get some of these fuckbrained assholes to start showing some empathy for people.

  2. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Facepalm right, facepalm left, headdesk. Pentatomid hit it in one.

  3. carlie says

    And then he met her, and then he made a video apologizing for calling her a money-grubber… and then made money off of the apology video. *spits*

  4. The Mellow Monkey says

    Every day I see pictures of people’s severely ill children. Every day I see pictures of people’s healthy children. When I go out in public, I see all sorts of children.

    Is this verbal pustule suggesting that parents should hide their children away? That it’s THEIR fault that some festering blobs of sapient phlegm decided to be abusive?

    That people who are severely ill, or deformed, or just plain “ugly” should never show their faces, lest it drive someone into a helpless lust to do something damaging and cruel?

    Gee. Seems like a strangely familiar argument.

  5. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Intelligence is a bell curve. Emotional intelligence as well. You’ve got to expect there will be some will come from the portion of the curve that is shallow and gently rising. The problem is that with the intertubes, these ignorant food tubes can spread the vile filth that springs from their inferior brains all over the world. If he lived in a small village, he would merely be a source of amusement and ridicule.

    As it stands, if I found out he was dead, I’d go 50 miles out of my way to piss on his grave.

  6. says

    I’ve always been a homely child. I’m going to call up my mom and yell at her for being “one stupid bitch” because she didn’t put a bag over my head every time I went out in public. It’s your fault all the cool kids in school made fun of me!

  7. rumson says

    A guy I work with is always on 4chan, and feels he has to tell me about it. He seems to think it is the most creative, original, funny site ever. I hate it. A giant collection of riffraff, misogynists, pedophiles, and sore losers. I don’t understand how anyone can tolerate or excuse this kind of crap. If you feel like you are cutting edge or creative because you can ruin a sick child’s life, you’re wrong. You are a loser. seriously, you lose at the game of life. You contribute nothing of worth to this world. The only other people laughing are loser sacks of shit who are just like you. Even if these images outlive you, is anyone going to give a shit? Is this your legacy? Good job, asshole. You have successfully failed at being human.

  8. anteprepro says

    “You know whose fault it’s gonna be? It’s not gonna be the millions of people on the Internet who looked at them. It’s gonna be yours for letting these pictures escape,” he stammered, as if Adalia’s baby photos were leaked documents. “You are a sick woman. You are more disgusting and horrible than my fat disgusting ass could ever be.” He was nearly spitting. “You are one stupid bitch.”

    That doesn’t even make sense. It presumes that posting ANY picture of ANYONE on the internet is an invitation for the entire internet to start photoshopping them and mocking them. Regardless of age, regardless of infirmity, the internet is expected to bully, and it is the fault of anyone who doesn’t expect as much if that bullying happens. Bull-fucking-shit. But I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that /b/ is composed of irrational, fuckwitted, victim-blaming assholes.

  9. says

    The longest lived progenia sufferer, Leon Botha, died in South Africa in 2011. He was often featured on television over, the course of decades – about his disease, his art and his links to the music industry. I can’t recall ever hearing anyone saying anything nasty about him, just lots of sympathy and respect.

    [q]After Adalia’s passing, he said, the only online trace of her existence would be these cruel images. “You know whose fault it’s gonna be?[/q]

    contrast:

    Leon was very mindful of the value of the internet as a reflection of human life, and an archive of the living after they die. He wanted to be understood as a complex, self-determined, thoughtful creator and connector and thinker. Not as a disease, and not as a footnote in someone else’s better-known story. He wanted to be known for who he really was while he was alive. He wanted us to respect him, and his work, after he was gone.

  10. UnknownEric is just a spudboy, looking for a quantum tomato. says

    Can I be a humanist and a misanthrope at the same time?

    I’ve been doing it for years, so I say yes.

    The whole concept of “basic human decency” seems to be a completely foreign idea to these trolls.

  11. vaiyt says

    And that’s why 4chan’s /b/ is not, and never was, anything but a cesspit of vile refuse. These are the kind of people that are considered witty and interesting in that monkey jail.

  12. UnknownEric is just a spudboy, looking for a quantum tomato. says

    And just after commenting on this story, I come across this.

  13. RFW says

    @ rumson. 23 February 2013 at 8:24 am:

    A guy I work with is always on 4chan, and feels he has to tell me about it. He seems to think it is the most creative, original, funny site ever. I hate it.

    Then say so, in unambiguous language. Tell him that 4chanites are juvenile and clearly lack even the most elementary sense of empathy with other people; that they might be creative and original, but they have clearly never put themselves in their targets’ shoes for even a few seconds. That wit at the expense of others is not wit at all: anybody can be cruel online. The word “sub-human” might be appropriate, but so is the sentiment “it’s possible to grow out of that.”

    I say this because, at a guess, many of the habitués of 4chan have never been properly socialized and a direct expression of your low opinion of them is the first step in socializing your co-worker. Don’t expect instantaneous changes,

    After the first time or two expressing your distaste, you might want to simply say “I don’t want to hear about it; it’s not funny, it’s not admirable in any way, and the people on 4chan need to fucking grow up a little.”

    A reminder that one of the tools used in the civil rights era was the frown principle: if you overheard a racist remark or “joke”, you frowned as a way of expressing your dislike of it. People are sometimes sensitive to body language when verbal language won’t get through, so frowning at your co-worker’s rhapsodies about 4chan might do more good than the preaching I suggested above.

  14. charlessoto says

    Wow. On the one hand, I kind of wish I had never learned about this. It makes me sick. On the other hand, at least now I got to learn about this little girl and her family. That makes things a little better.

  15. rumson says

    RFW;
    Been there, done that. He’s a twenty six year old libertarian with no real world experience. He has zero responsibility, has everything paid for by mommy, and feels because he takes courses in logic at college he is right about everything, and feels obliged to tell everyone what he feels is right.Most of his “logic” sounds like rationalization to me. There is a very strong barrier around his skull, impervious to criticism.

  16. Shplane, Spess Alium says

    Shit like this is why I avoid /b/. There’s merit to be found on some other parts of the site, but /b/ literally just exists for moronic assholes to do hateful bullshit.

    Fun fact: /b/ and /pol/, the two worst boards on 4Chan, seem from what I can tell to be largely populated by libertarians.

    Take from that what you will.

  17. terrencekaye says

    I’ve always thought the billions of words written and spoken to date arguing against the existence of the traditional God could simply be reduced to one: progeria.

  18. anteprepro says

    Fun fact: /b/ and /pol/, the two worst boards on 4Chan, seem from what I can tell to be largely populated by libertarians.

    Am I wrong in also getting the impression that it is disproportionately atheist as well? If so, /b/ culture may be the most succinct and accurate summary of what is wrong with A*

  19. Beatrice says

    All I can think of is… what when this girls learns how to read?
    Right now, she can enjoy herself and stay mostly ignorant of the vileness targeting her, but when she learns how to read she will be heartbroken.

  20. throwaway, promised freezed peach, all we got was the pit says

    /b/ and /pol/, the two worst boards on 4chA*n, seem from what I can tell to be largely populated by libertarians.

    The signal to noise ratio there… it’s basically just noise now. I have wondered what was up with the rise I’ve personally seen with objectivism and libertarianism, especially among the late-teen/early-twenty crowd, and it seems to stem from these two places.

    /b/ allows them to say outrageous things with few repercussions, absolute free speech, pretty much used to take pleasure in other people’s misery, and when people aren’t suffering then they are made to suffer. Bullies absolutely. And then the idea that everyone should be at liberty to be the most offensively cruel thing, because it’s not like physical violence where people really get hurt, plus FREEZED PEACH.

    There would be ample anthropogenic study material for future archaeologists discovering 4chA*n for the first time.

  21. says

    “You know whose fault it’s gonna be? It’s not gonna be the millions of people on the Internet who looked at them. It’s gonna be yours for letting these pictures escape,” he stammered, as if Adalia’s baby photos were leaked documents. “You are a sick woman. You are more disgusting and horrible than my fat disgusting ass could ever be.”

    Covering his own hatred of himself by trying to make someone else feel worse. I’m positive there’s a psychological term for this, though I can’t recall it right now, but this guy’s projecting all over the place.

    Until he decides to face responsibility for his actions and admits he has a sense of empathy, he doesn’t have a chance in hell of becoming anything more than another example of how not to live. I think he knows very well how vile and hurtful he’s being toward others who’ve done nothing to him, and tries to overwhelm the gnawing guilt by directing his anger toward those he harms, instead of facing what he’s done and choosing to act better. It’s pretty much the behaviour of an abuser, and it won’t change until he admits to himself what he’s really doing – which, for most abusers, seems to be never.

    It’s a waste of an existence, made all the more horrible for everyone else with the knowledge of the harm he will continue causing, all while blaming his victims for his actions. Instead of facing whatever’s going on in his head, I think it’s likely he will instead lean on reinforcement provided by his fellow abusers and lie to himself that he’s right and just, and everyone else is lesser and weaker than him, and every twinge of guilt is just weakness that he has to smash down by being even more vile… and so on, and so forth.

    Caveat: not a psychologist, no idea if the above analysis has any basis in reality. Just how it seems to me. I hear stories about abusers on a near-daily basis, and the behaviour patterns are strikingly similar.

  22. says

    [...Sherburne] started filming himself staring into his laptop webcam and sputtering discursive monologues. Oddly enough, people watched.

    “People loved my opinions,” he later wrote online. He had lots of them, and he was willing to share: The news never shows the real story. Social-media cyber-bullying is a myth because “you can use the ‘block’ button.” Suicide is a fair target for mockery (and trolling) because, “If they don’t take their life serious enough, why should I?” (He would later inform me he attempted suicide at 16.) Sometimes he held forth on existential subjects like, say, divine creation. Immature atheists, he said, were “fucking rotten-twat-munching ass-mungles.”

    He might have different beliefs but he’s completely of a piece with Justicar, The Amazing Asshole, The Buzzing Insect, and a whole bunch more.
    Unrelated to the thundering shitbaggery described in the article, I’m glad the author included this bit:

    I handed Natalia an envelope with a profile I’d written of musician Kalyn Heffernan, a 25-year-old 56-pound queer rapper with the brittle-bone disability Osteogenesis Imperfecta. I’d mentioned how when Kalyn is labeled an “inspiration,” she sort of shrugs. People think it’s a compliment, but she once explained to me that such a comment presumes she should be sequestered away in a room, not in a six-year-relationship with an able-bodied girlfriend, not going onstage in front of people, not doing what anybody else with her interests and preferences and talents would do. People call her an “inspiration” because she exists in the world? That makes her sad for them.

    Especially since there was such a fetishizing comment earlier in the article.

  23. unclefrogy says

    of course he got mad at the mom cause ain’t that what the internet is for and places like youtube and facebook your supposed to find things and people and screw with them. insulting people is fun.
    I used to get real mad at people who double park and talk with their friends or wait for them to come out often out in the middle of the street opposite an empty parking place until a friend told me that that is the only power they have. That is the same with these fools they need to exorcize any power they can on the internet in order to feel OK. Because in “meat space” they got nothing they feel safe in the crowd or mod.
    there is always scum on the bottom of the pond.

    uncle frogy

  24. tbtabby says

    Remember when humor was about clever witticisms and unexpected occurrences, and not just going all out to be as blatantly shocking and offensive as possible so you can feel like you’re pushing boundaries when people get upset?

    Me neither.

  25. DLC says

    Sir Alec Guinness had it right, he just didn’t know he was describing large chunks of the Internet
    population. “Mos Eisley. a wretched hive of scum and villainy. ”
    I do not have the words to describe my contempt for these shitheads, so I’m not going to try.
    Their own personal feelings of inadequacy lead them to lash out at anyone who presents themselves a convenient target.

  26. great1american1satan says

    4chan: They didn’t invent cyber-bullying, but they perfected it.

    On FB, I got into it with someone I suspect was a 4channer (our mutual “friend” was), and he called me a “white knight.” So they have some crossover with PUAs/MRAs/whatever. Maybe it’s hanging out in a sewer that makes all these fuckers stink in the same way.

  27. Azuma Hazuki says

    4Chan isn’t universally horrible for whatever this is worth. Although incredibly un-worksafe, /u/ is nice if you’re in a really bad mood and cute f/f snuggling is your thing. /ck/ seems nice too; it seems like people who are really into cooking for others are generally good-hearted.

  28. left0ver1under says

    Mocking people for saying and doing stupid things is fair game (e.g. Ted Nugent, Bill O’Reilly). We should encourage more of it.

    Mocking people for being born with a disease? It makes you wonder if those doing it are mentally ill.

  29. throwaway, promised freezed peach, all we got was the pit says

    Mocking people for being born with a disease? It makes you wonder if those doing it are mentally ill.

    Disagree with you there. I don’t wonder that at all. It’s a societal illness, not a personal one.

  30. vaiyt says

    Mocking people for being born with a disease? It makes you wonder if those doing it are mentally ill.

    Their disorder is that they’re asshats.

  31. imkindaokay says

    He’s a lot worse than TAA, I think.

    https://www.facebook.com/thefatknightcarl?fref=ts
    Here’s his facebook fanpage, and one of my friends is actually friends with him in real life.

    He’s also a homophobe, a racist, a sexist, a rape-joker, a rape-apologist, a heteronormativiser (or whatever the correct word is) and a generally bad person.

    AT LEAST HE’S AN ATHEIST LOL, though I wish he weren’t.

  32. vicarofartonearth says

    It is wonderful the the critical thinking leaders are pointing out about bullying, and I don’t mean to be an appollogist, but when kids with disabilities are suppose to be God’s little angels instead of kids, adults are helping the problem.

    It really goes against what society expects of its cripples, but learning to say a good old “up yours bastard the first time they start this would help.”

    Thank you guys for the good fight, a familymember

  33. vicarofartonearth says

    I am not related that I know of to the people in the article, I can relate to living in their situation.

  34. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    To add some light to the depressing topic there is showing some promising results in Progeria treatment.

  35. thumper1990 says

    After Adalia’s passing, he said, the only online trace of her existence would be these cruel images. “You know whose fault it’s gonna be? It’s not gonna be the millions of people on the Internet who looked at them. It’s gonna be yours for letting these pictures escape,” he stammered, as if Adalia’s baby photos were leaked documents. “You are a sick woman. You are more disgusting and horrible than my fat disgusting ass could ever be.” He was nearly spitting. “You are one stupid bitch.”

    What… what? So it’s not his fault for taking the baby photos and photoshopping the sick little girl’s head onto a variety of other bodies, it’s the mother’s fault for allowing the photos to be somewhere he could get at them? So he has no self control, basically. If it’s possible for him to take the piss out of someone, he has to do it and it’s their fault for… what, being someone he can take the piss out of?

    I’ve never met this man, or even heard of him before… and yet I hate him already.

  36. twosheds1 says

    Can he be sued for using the pictures without permission? That’d shut him up really quick. I’ll bet even a threatening letter from a lawyer would make him soil his underoos.

  37. WharGarbl says

    @throwaway
    #24

    The signal to noise ratio there… it’s basically just noise now.

    It is called “/b/ Random”.
    Random = Noise

    @twosheds1
    #41

    Can he be sued for using the pictures without permission? That’d shut him up really quick. I’ll bet even a threatening letter from a lawyer would make him soil his underoos.

    I believe that may fall under “fair-use” in form of “parody”, legally at least.